• Kaitlyn Chatwood

Success at the Cowal Highland Virtual Gathering

The Cowal Highland Gathering is one of the largest family friendly events in Scotland held at the end of August. Although the in-person gathering had to be cancelled, event co-ordinators knew a second virtual gathering was the answer after the success of the one held in 2020.

The co-ordinators decided to keep the 2021 Virtual Gathering over the same weekend as the original in-person event; this also allowed for fans around the world to enjoy the festival from the comfort of their own home.

All of the crowd favourites are available to watch on their YouTube page: the Highland dance performances, classic Scottish Highland games and, of course, musical performances. The Inverhooley Ceilidh Band offered live ceilidh music for people to dance to in their living rooms, bedrooms or gardens. Filmed in the Burgh Hall in Dunoon, near the Isle of Bute to the west of Scotland, the Inverhooley Ceilidh band brought the magic of Scottish music to our homes.

Other virtual gatherings include the Highland Dance Video – ‘Hopes and Dreams’. While the World Highland Dancing Championship was postponed, the event co-ordinators made sure to keep the spirit of the tournament alive. Featuring dancers from the 2019 championships, Highland dancers from around the world look elegantly beautiful as they showcase the best of Scottish dancing in this collaboration choreographed by Rachel McLagan.

Cowal Highland Gathering has several popular in-person events including the World Highland Dancing Championship, The Cowal International Heavy Athletics Championship and the The Cowal Pipe Band which is Scotland’s oldest pipe band championship. Since none of these were able to go ahead this year, co-ordinators decided to create a space on the Virtual Gatherings where people can still enjoy the show. They serve as a reminder of past memories and the excitement spectators felt, and a hope for next year when the games will be held in person once more.

All of the competitors from across the varied championship specialities are very excited to participate once more in the tournament next year, with the crowd to cheer them on, and none more so than the heavy athletics participants who are keen to win the coveted Cowal silverware. This year as part of the virtual gathering, a select group of participants competed in a friendly classic Scottish Highlands tournament, which Kyle Randalls won.

Everyone is excited for next years’ events; from participants to spectators both young and old, experienced goers and newcomers alike. Everyone is ready and waiting to be part of the Cowal Highland Gathering once more in 2022, which will be held in Dunoon Stadium, from the 25 – 27 August.

For more information, please check out their website here for more updates about next year’s event.


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